Category Archives: Postive stories

We’re just getting started!

On May 25, 2017, the Texas House of Representatives honored our 60th year.  We are so grateful for this special recognition made possible by Representative Four Price. In our 60th year of helping our neighbors in the Texas Panhandle, it’s an honor for us to have received the State of Texas House of Representatives resolution inserted below.  

 

Looking back and forward

As we finish our 60th year, we pause and think about how quality of life has improved for so many in the Panhandle through the philanthropic endeavors of our donors.  In the same breath, we see so much more need that exists, and we promise to continue our legacy built on the shoulders of the giants who came before us.  The legacy of our founders is steeped in rich traditions of making the Panhandle a better place.  Onward we go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NLNE The Partners: West Texas A&M Univesity

No Limits No Excuses: How did WTAMU get involved with No Limits, No Excuses?

West Texas A&M University: My understanding is that James Hallmark – who was the Provost at the time – had been involved with Amarillo Area Foundation and Panhandle 2020 and he was the first to hook in to what is now No Limits, No Excuses. I think they called it PPS at the time. So, he was the Provost and I was the Associate Provost, and he knew that I had been involved in  P16 initiatives for a while as a faculty member and so he asked me to start attending the meetings, and shortly after that, he left the university to go to College Station and I became the Provost.

But by that time, I think I knew enough about it that we had to be involved and  it’s something I feel strongly and passionate about, so rather than delegate it to someone else, I tried to maintain my role there. We’ve had several other people who have been involved in it as well.

 

NLNE:  What’s kept WT’s involvement during the five-plus years since No Limits, No Excuses has started?

WT: Well, I think you have to step back and look at the big picture. First of all, we’re an educational institution and so, educational attainment and providing people with high quality higher education, that’s the core mission of what we are. No Limits, No Excuses, even though it moves in lots of different directions, it looks at poverty, it looks at job training and all these other things, at its core it’s still about increasing the educational attainment of the region that we’re located in.

 

We can only thrive, we can only grow if the area that we’re located in is thriving and growing as well, and so in a sense, that’s maybe self-serving because a strong Panhandle means a strong WT. But more importantly, it’s what we’re put here to do. It’s our goal. It’s our mission. It’s to reach as many people in the area as we can and provide them with educational opportunities, and I think to partner with Amarillo College, to partner with AISD, to partner with business and to integrate ourselves into the community even more strongly than we already are.

 

NLNE: How has the partnership increased your relationship with other institutions?

WT: I guess I’ll answer that in two parts. Personally, I have gained such a broader understanding of how Amarillo College operates, the leadership there, their mission and certainly, the same is true of AISD. For a lot of people at the university, we don’t have to think very much or very hard about the independent school districts that are in the region.

I always joke about college professors who think that their students drop from the heavens on the first day of class, and don’t have any prior experience or knowledge. So, to learn about the issues facing them, to learn for instance, about the level of poverty, the number of children who are on free and reduced lunches, to learn about the breadth of programming that Amarillo College has.

All that is knowledge that I carry to meetings that I have on campus when we talk about, what’s our goal, what’s our vision, how do we connect with these people? It just provides me with the breadth of knowledge I didn’t have, and then connections, quite honestly, to important people like Russell Lowery-Hart and Dana West. I would probably not move in those circles otherwise if I didn’t have this connection.

As an institution, I think that the answer is also very similar. I try to share that information as I said, in meetings when I’m with the deans, when I’m with the President, when I’m with other people, to either clarify things or to point out chances for us to partner, or chances for us to work on a common initiative. Dr. Wendler is very open and very interested in those sorts of things, so I think that will pick up some steam now that he’s assumed his leadership role here on campus. Continue reading

The Bright Side of the Texas Panhandle

Bad news is an abundant commodity these days. You can find it everywhere you turn. From social media, to print news, to television, to the radio, there is no shortage of sad, depressing news. So much so, we often fail to see what is occurring before our eyes. It’s easy to lose our way in the shadows of negativity. But without some brilliant light, there would be no shadows. There is always a positive light shining somewhere if we only take time to look.

We have a solution

At the Amarillo Area Foundation, we are fortunate to get a daily glimpse at the multitude of ways people across the Panhandle shine through filling needs in their communities. Every day we see people volunteering, giving of their time and financial resources. Sadly, these types of stories don’t make the news often. That is why the Amarillo Area Foundation has created The Bright Side. Each Tuesday at 6:00 PM on News Channel 10, The Bright Side will spotlight one of our fund holders in a one-minute media package courtesy of the Amarillo Area Foundation. The purpose of this endeavor is to focus on the positive news in the Texas Panhandle while helping organizations and projects gain exposure to potential donors, volunteers, and those desiring their services. By providing this service for our fund holders, we hope the positive light they are shining will be amplified for more people to see. We hope people become inspired to both be and see a shining light in their corner of the Panhandle. And, we hope even more needs are filled from the arts, to education, to human services, to healthcare.

Here’s our first two in the series:

WEEK 1
WEEK 2

A Year of Positive News

For the next year, plan to see the good works of 52 different fund holders at the Amarillo Area Foundation. May it open your eyes to the generous, positive people surrounding you in the Panhandle. May it open your mind to identifying needs in your community. May it open your heart to fulfilling those needs becoming part of the bright side of the Texas Panhandle.

Tune in each Tuesday at 6:00 PM to see The Bright Side on NewsChannel 10.